Mark 13:30 'The Most Embarrassing Verse in the Bible'

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by RJM Corbet, Sep 20, 2020.

  1. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    That's the crux of the biscuit is it not?

    We are all dealing with the recorded words of Jesus, decades after they were said.

    We are (most of us) dealing with interpretations of translations of the words of Jesus.

    There is no one who knows the actual words of Jesus.

    The Jesus Seminatr sought to decifer the 'red letter' to determine that...and the Gospel of Thomas won with the highest percentage of potential "actual words of Jesus" out of the five gospels...
     
  2. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    I don't know enough about that to comment, but the may be more than one side to it?

    @Thomas should be back this week. I do know there is debate about whether the Gospel of Thomas is an authentic early gospel, or a later gnostic writing, etc.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_Thomas

    There are several apocryphal gospels, so for the Jesus Seminar to refer to the Gospel of Thomas as one of the five gospels is not really correct?

    As @Miken says, at least some of the other apostles were still alive during the time Paul was writing, and were in communication with him.

    Nero was murdering Christians during his reign as emperor from 54 to 68 AD, only a couple of decades after Jesus' death. The knowledge and memory of Jesus' life was still fresh at that time. It wasn't long enough for a completely fictitious myth to develop?

    There are tons of apocrypha documents. Some contain all sorts of weird and made up stuff. We have an excellent library of apocrypha here on the site:
    https://www.interfaith.org/christianity/apocrypha/

    Unfortunately the Gospel of Thomas is not there but it's easily available online these days.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
  3. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    The Jesus Seminar:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_Seminar

    ... The Jesus Seminar has come under criticism regarding its method, assumptions and conclusions from a wide array of scholars and laymen. Scholars who have expressed concerns with the work of the Jesus Seminar include ...

    (List of distinguished scholars and historians follows)

    Jesuit theologian Gerald O'Collins has been critical of the methods and conclusions of the Jesus Seminar with particular attention to Christological ramifications.

    Lutheran theologian Carl Braaten has been sharply critical, saying "The Jesus Seminar is the latest example of a pseudo-scientific approach that is 'dogmatically' opposed to basic Christian dogmas, popularizing in the public mind Harnack's view that an unbridgeable gulf exists between Jesus and the church."...

    Of the 74 [scholars] listed in their publication The Five Gospels, only 14 would be leading figures in the field of New Testament studies. More than half are basically unknowns, who have published only two or three articles.

    Eighteen of the fellows have published nothing at all in New Testament studies. Most have relatively undistinguished academic positions, for example, teaching at a community college ..." etc

    So I would not take this Jesus seminar as significant or meaningful?
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
  4. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, Our Lord's in full prophetic mode here, isn't He?

    As you say, "this generation" (v30) would seem to imply the people alive at the time, but that is undermined by v32: "But of that day or hour no man knoweth, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father." This verse has been used in arguments going back to early Patristic wrangling over the Divinity question.

    Can I offer an answer: No. For those who do not accept the Incarnation, it's an argument, for those who do, it can be explained.

    Certainly the Greek term can be applied to a single generation, or used more lyrically to infer an age, etc.

    But again, one can argue Christ is telling His audience they shall see things in their lifetime, but other things at the End of Time ...
     
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  5. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Only 14? That is 14 more than we have here! Lol

    Odds are pretty much all 74 were more versed in the bible and christian theology than ANY of us here except maybe Thomas.

    But yes he has posted on it to. Have you read it? From recollection each of.the scholars had 4 marbles...red. These are most surely the words of Jesus, pink these sorta sound like.something he might.have said or are.cloae to.it, gray.not.likely he said.that but maybe, and black...no way he said.that.

    Then they took the average and made their own red letter books.

    Is it perfect.? He'll no. But we have people arguing.about quotes like tke the OP and it's meaning....

    I don't know about you...but at 60 I could write stories about what happened when I was 30...and would.tell you stories about what my friend said when...but they wouldn't be entirely accurate and shouldn't be taken as gospel
    Lol...it isnt an all or.nothing proposition....

    Folks are famous for grabbing the nuclear option

    I am not saying his whole life.was fictitious...i am saying 20 hear old.quotes are.highly unlikely to be the actual words all the time...tis the reason we habe four or five gospels...people remember some things differently.

    I find it a.shame that folks go from it is all 100%.accurate and with any disagreement to that statement they move directly to ...are you saying.it is all a.myth.



    Yes people disagree with the
     
  6. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    I think this is so relevant. Language can potentially lose so much in translation. I don't know ancient Greek though, so I'll just have to trust authority on the issue.
     
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  7. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    No but the overall sense wouldn't change? If someone told me they hate me, I wouldn't remember that they said they loved me?

    So did Jesus say the end of the world would happen very soon, within his own generation, or did he not say it?

    In the first it means Jesus was wrong -- that Jesus spoke falsely. In the second it means Jesus did not say it, because there was no need to say it, if by this generation he meant all future generations too?

    And why contradict himself by later saying that neither the Son, nor the angels, but only the Father knew when the end would come?
    So if he didn't say it, that means someone else just made it up and stuck it in there? Which, as you observe, is the crunch of the biscuit.

    So it's not a subtle or minor contradiction?
    Again, the sense of the passage is completely changed by use of the words 'this generation' in the context. It's not a small thing. It turns the meaning on its head?
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
  8. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    But if it refers to an age, why say it all? 'This age will not come to an end until it comes to an end.' Meaningless. And why say also that neither the Son, nor the angels, but only the Father knew?
    Makes the most sense?
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
  9. Miken

    Miken Active Member

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    This is where we differ. I do not see the Gospels as actual history but as documents written well after the time frame of the events they portray incorporating invention as suited the purpose of each writer. I see Mark as writing after the destruction of the Temple using this dramatic and disheartening event as a sign of the beginning of the end of days and simultaneously addressing the issue of Jesus not returning soon as was expected. Having this be a prophesied event allows it to be turned on its head and become a positive and not a negative thing. Post eventum prophecy is a technique used elsewhere in scripture. It allows the reader to recognize the supposedly prophesied circumstances without it being shoved in his face. And that is half way to believing it. Mark similarly lets the reader identify John the Baptist with Elijah, the precursor of the Messiah, but without ever saying it plainly.
     
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  10. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Ok ...
    Well, that's cutting the knot
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
  11. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Indeed it's tricky, as what is 'authentic'?

    It's a 'sayings' text, and it would seem there's some very early content ... but a test of authenticity is mention by outside sources, and the only early mentions of GoT dismiss it as a fabrication. Certainly, I do smile when critics of the orthodox 4-gospels accept Thomas without query. Too often this acceptance is down to some partisan politics ... For example Elaine Pagels did her reputation no good at all with her book on the Gnostics.

    I'd say someone picked up some early material and reworked it to suit themselves.

    It's not a 'gnostic' gospel in the sense that it doesn't seem to endorse the common Gnostic cosmogony. It does share a thread with other dismissed gospels that the supposed author — in this case Thomas — was the only one who 'got' what Christ was talking about.

    No, it's not.
     
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  12. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I think the Jesus Seminar offers a reflection more on the liberal politics of the day than of the literal interpretation of Scripture :rolleyes:.

    Their methods and findings were largely dismissed; they made little impact on the scholarly scene, although a lot of what they said ticked populist boxes.

    I think a fair number of members have distanced themselves by now.
     
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  13. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I think it's a reference to the preceeding text, ie that all this shall come to pass before the end of the age?

    Why indeed?

    I mean, if you're fabricating a text to promote the deity of the man, for example, then you wouldn't have written something that almost from the get-go was quoted as disproving your endeavour ... and I don't accept it as an oversight ... I could go into an explanation, but it seems as tortuous as the text itself.

    And then we have v31: "Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away." That's some serious statement, that the words – and therefore He – come from a place beyond heaven and earth ... ?
     
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  14. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    If we did a survey by living authors who have felt their words have been misrepresented or misunderstood, we'd only be scratching the surface of the problem.
     
  15. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    What I do wonder though, having never researched it, is whether Buddhists or Hindus etc., go through the same issues with their texts, which are all written at a distance from events?
     
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  16. Miken

    Miken Active Member

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    The Greek word genea can refer to a generation of people, or rarely to a particular race of people but it does not itself carry any connotations of a time period, except as the nominal length of a generation. For example: Numbers 32:13 And the Lord's anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation that had done evil in the sight of the Lord was gone.

    To interpret genea as ‘age’, a long time period, is not really appropriate. Matthew’s use of genea very clearly indicates successive generations of a particular bloodline. In that most commonly used sense, it would mean the generation of people alive when Jesus spoke ca. 30 AD, the ones who would ‘not taste death’ before the return of the Son of Man, as Mark (and Matthew and Luke) previously state.

    The Synoptic Gospels are not very concerned with demonstrating the divinity of Jesus. Paul saw Jesus as a pre-existing divine entity. Mark makes no reference to that and Matthew and Mark have the conception of Jesus divinely inspired but seem to indicate Jesus coming into existence at that point. Having the Son not knowing the exact details is in line with that.

    In the context of my ‘invented story’ viewpoint, having Jesus not know the details would fit Mark’s agenda. The end of days is going to happen soon but giving an exact timeframe would be self-defeating, putting a specific expiration date on the prophecy.

    This is a scriptural reference to the end of days.

    Psalm 102
    25 Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.
    26 They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away,

    Isaiah 51
    6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth beneath;
    for the heavens vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment,
    and they who dwell in it will die in like manner;
    but my salvation will be forever, and my righteousness will never be dismayed.

    Isaiah 65
    17 “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth,
    and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind.

    Jesus, in his special role as Son of God, has the authority to declare these things. But exactly what Son of God means is not clear in the Synoptic Gospels. None of them actually state that Jesus comes from beyond heaven and earth, as Paul and John do.
     
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  17. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls Staff Member

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    I agree with that.
    It is a mix-up of different beliefs and cultures.
    i.e. greek/roman and israelite/jewish

    In the Jewish faith, many prophets and saints are referred to as 'sons of God' .. meaning 'special' as in very close to God

    In Greek mythology/cultures, they had trinities of gods, which is actually a pagan concept..
    So 'son of God' takes on a different meaning.

    The Romans were happy about that and so encouraged and enforced such belief.
    ..they clearly saw Judaism as a threat .. they destroyed the temple in Jerusalem ..oh well..
     
  18. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    The Greek word for generation can have a spiritual meaning, as we see in Mark 9.29, in which Jesus refers to evil spirits as "this kind [γένος]". Similarly, Mark 13.30 and Matthew 23.35 could refer to a kind of people that share similar characteristics - that is, the characteristics of the evil, spiritual generation that descended from the seed of the serpent (Genesis 3.15) and are called "a generation of vipers" (Matthew 3.7) in multiple places and in contrast to "the sons of Abraham".
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
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  19. Miken

    Miken Active Member

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    The term Son of God in reference to the Messiah appears in the popular mind after the Roman occupation. The popular concept of the Messiah in this era was as a military leader who would liberate Israel from Roman occupation and bring in the messianic age of a restored Jewish kingdom. The Messiah as a military figure was already traditional due to the repeated foreign oppression of the Jewish people but now it was more explicit and imminently expected.

    The connection between the term Son of God and this view of the Messiah is based on scripture.

    Psalm 2
    7 I will proclaim the Lord’s decree:
    He said to me, “You are my son;
    today I have become your father.
    8 Ask me,
    and I will make the nations your inheritance,
    the ends of the earth your possession.
    9 You will break them with a rod of iron;
    you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”

    In Mark we see the high priest ask Jesus if he is the Son of God. Jesus responds that he is and amplifies this with an apocalyptic reference from Daniel.

    Mark 14
    61 …Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” 62 And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”

    Jesus is then turned over to the Romans with the charge that he claims to be the King of the Jews. This is not the theological Son of God as per Paul that is meant. This is the revolutionary Son of God of popular messianic sentiments who would expel the Romans and restore a Jewish kingdom.

    The Pauline notion of a divine Son of God and John’s divine Logos use language and descriptive references straight out of Philo of Alexandria. Philo was a Jew who was intrigued by the Platonic view of God being so superior and pure that he would never ‘get his hands dirty’ creating the impure world. In Platonism, this is the job of the demiurge, an intermediate divine entity. Philo’s Son of God / Logos is this entity but described in a way that it is really just God himself, or maybe a super special angel. Philo is rather mysterious on this point, dancing around the implications of importing Greek polytheism into Jewish monotheism. So, in this sense, the origins of the Trinity can be traced to Greek philosophy. But not mythology.

    The formal notion of a divine Trinity does not appear for another hundred years and its meaning is debated for centuries after. Paul speaks of Father, Son and Holy Spirit but it is not formalized in any fashion. The Pauline Holy Spirit does not appear to be any different from the Jewish ruach, the breath of God which is not distinct from God himself.

    I seriously doubt that the Romans had any interest in Christian theology. And the idea of a triad of gods would not sit well with the Roman mandate of the Imperial Cult, formally sacrificing to the divine Emperors (the ‘ancestral gods’, not necessarily the current Emperor) as a symbol of allegiance to Roman. It is the refusal to do this that gave Christians such a bad name among the Romans. They were seen as opposed to Roman rule and therefore to civilization.

    The ever-practical Romans exempted Jews from the requirement to sacrifice because the trouble it would cause would be too costly in terms of military expenses and interrupted tax revenues. But to identify one’s self as a Jew required paying the Temple Tax, which in the post-Temple period went into Roman coffers, which they saw as a reasonable substitute for sacrifice. Like I said, practical. Later Christians were just about entirely separated from Judaism and refused to identify themselves as such.

    According to Josephus, Titus did not want the Temple destroyed. The fire started during the fighting and quickly got out of control. Recall that not too long before Caligula wanted his statue placed in the Temple. It would have been a great ‘prize of war’ to make the Jewish Temple into a pagan one, especially since it had earlier been remodeled and expanded by the Roman puppet Herod.
     
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  20. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    I think the I baptize with water but soon will come one who will baptize with the holy spirit..is pretty clear.
     

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